Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Burning Round The Track

We went to Bathurst ... Mount Panorama! Have a look at this Interactive Guide to Mount Panorama and ya will see all the places that I burned up ... well it's a 60km speed limit ... and some of those bends .. sheesh not gonna do more than 35 !! But hey I raced round there and reckon I'd beat some learners .. maybe come second, or third :D

Here's the map:

Our Trip To Bathurst

OK so here's the story: I wanted to do some more riding .. well you already know I want to do more riding, but I wanted something a bit longer than we've been doing. So I sat down one night and quizzed Terry bout where he'd like to go. There had been some suggestions on the shadow riders forum that we get a ride going to Bathurst, to meet half way with some of the guys from Sydney way. That seemed like a plan. I posted up that we would be doing it and to make it more enticing I added a ride round the mountain. We got some takers!! There aren't many guys from NSW in the forum yet, it's a young forum and kinda exclusive as it's a forum for only one type of bike. Don't get me wrong they aren't snobs, they'll let anyone in as long as they ride bikes really :D We were to ride to Bathurst and meet up with two guys from down Sydney way, Verticalc from the city and Owie from Woollongong ... he had to ride for an hour and a half before he even met up with Verticalc ... wow what a guy!!

Sunday 15th of April, we were all ready to go, the plan was for Terry and I to leave home bout 8:45am so we could take it a bit easy, I'm still not great at highways, and this was gonna be highway all the way. I only hit snooze on the alarm twice, that's good for me, have I ever mentioned how good I am at mornings? So we left home bout 9:20am and after getting petrol cause I couldn't remember the last time I filled up, we left Dubbo at round about 9:38 exactly. Right so no taking it easy if we were gonna get there to meet the guys, and still have time to do anything at all.

Off we went, straight through Gurie where I normally stop for a smoko, then all the way to Wellington. I was doing great, the speeds and traffic on the highway weren't as daunting to me as they had been in the past. Terry stopped at Wellington to ask how I was going, I said great .. lets keep going to Orange. That's the longest, most boring stretch of road on this trip. Let's get it over with. 94km of country highway, traffic, and potholes. Oh yeah the potholes, damn it who is supposed to look after these highways, they don't ride a bike that's for sure! So the potholes are strategically placed right on the line you need to ride to take a bend, every time. So instead of riding round a corner you kinda bounce round a corner. They had fixed some of those potholes though, well done guys fill em up with a bit of bitumen so when the trucks get to work on them the bitumen you put in there kinda squeezes up the sides to form a nice wave for me to ride when I hit them ... omg the first time that happened I thought I was gonna die. Right so try harder to avoid those bumps, yep I hit two more on the trip til I worked out that focusing on them was kinda making me aim for them instead of miss them.

Well we got stuck behind a learner just before Molong, it had been a good ride so far for me, I was coping well with the highway speeds, so slowing down to 80 felt wrong even though I realised I shoulda been doing that all the way. There were a few learners on the highway that day, all the kids getting in one last drive before they go back to school I guess. But on the highway at 80km/h, I've always wondered how safe that is, and round this neck of the woods ya just don't have much choice, you have to take the highways to get anywhere. So Terry overtook this learner just before Molong and I had to follow him through town, just as we got outta town I saw the perfect spot for an overtake, we were only doing 50km still from the town limit and I started to try to take off in 4th, ugh that wasn't happening, so kicked her back to 3rd and off I went round him. One thing I have noticed is that when I want to accelerate for overtaking I do have to kick her down a gear, she's not a speed demon, she's a cruiser, but when I do kick her down she does the job satisfactorily. I was excited, my first real overtake (not counting the hay baler a few weeks ago, but that doesn't count cause he was only doing bout 30km/h). I headed up the hill and noticed Terry sitting waiting for me by the side of the road, looks like I'm in front now ... ugh.

We got to Orange with no dramas, I could see Terry behind me, and I was doing good in the traffic. Orange main street is busy even on a Sunday, but the traffic crawls. I find that going from highway speeds to town traffic is a bit daunting, I find that in the car too, takes you a bit to get used to it is all. I noticed that my leg cramped every time I put it down to stop at a light, and I had to stand up a couple times to ease it. Might be time to stop for a break and stretch. I watched Terry so I could give him a signal that I was stopping when we got somewhere safe, wait ... no Terry ... hmm. So I stopped just at the edge of town near a pretty park, lit a smoke and waited.... and waited... and waited. Right I'll call him, maybe he took a shortcut I don't know bout. So when me smoke was finished Terry came into sight from the main street, he'd stopped for petrol, oh yeah I forgot that his tank is tiny. We chatted for a bit with a lovely old lady who was in love with our bikes, her son had just bought a Vulcan and she'd been for a ride on it, she loved it, heh wot a cool old duck :D

So we headed on to Bathurst, time was gonna be tight but it still looked like we'd make it in time, so I didn't check my phone or bother sending a message to the guys we were meeting. We got into Bathurst at bout 12:15 or so, and the guys were there waiting for us. Apparently they went to another Macca's first then moved on to the next one when they realised we'd probably know this one cause that was the end of town we'd enter by. They sent a bunch of sms's too, that I actually got when I got home and checked my phone ...

Time for a bite to eat first, we decided to follow Terry cause he knows Bathurst the best and he promised not to get us lost, he didn't either. There were a bunch of Harley's taking up all the parking spots in front of the cafe we were going to, so Terry took us round the corner to park, and did a U-Turn to park on the opposite side of the road, closer to the cafe right .. I don't do U-Turns, specially with an audience .. nope not happening. So I parked down the road and my bike didn't get in any of the first pics :D

Terry and Verticalc had a chat, bout bikes .. while Owie did the important stuff, took photos.
 They were parked in front of a church, on Sunday, and the service had just finished, the parishers were streaming out the doors to be greeted by Verticalc's bike ...

Pretty bike eh? He bought it like that recently and a good find, someone has already done the hard work putting pretty bits on it. Can ya see the airbrushing? Let me give ya a closeup ...

Yep, no one seemed to notice tho, and I even got a smile from one lady wandering down the stairs, I don't think they could see it from there but I certainly didn't make eye contact when they were walking past. It's not an offensive picture tho, and a damn nice job on the airbrushing.

Owies bike is pretty, tis a 750 Ace I think, ya can correct me if I'm wrong Owie.
Owie's bike

So we headed up to Elie's for lunch and a 'get to know you' type session. Kinda interesting talking to people who's only common interest is bikes ... conversation is stilted almost, til someone says something bout bikes .. oh yeah they all opened up then :)

The meals at Elie's are good, and the girls working there are lovely. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them if you're looking for somewhere for a meal in Bathurst, they do all day breakfast too.

Terry, Brenda, Verticalc and Owie at Elie's
Well it was getting on in the day so we all headed up to The Mountain. Following Terry again cause he knew where he was going, and after making sure he wasn't gonna try to make me do a U-Turn again we headed off. We got to the mount and worked out where we were supposed to be after only a short conference, Terry wanted me to go first but I didn't wanna, kind nervous being in company. So he headed off up the Pit Straight. Slow ... really slow ... I was gonna start wobbling .. OK I overtook him :) And off I went, slowly .. just not as slow as Terry, he was checking out the pit stops. I headed up the mount and it was all going good, nothing too scary as you make your way up the mountain, and I spotted a pull over place right at the top ... photo op!

The view from up there is breathtaking.
The Shadows enjoying the view.

And we talked again .. about bikes what else.
 One thing you have to remember bout Mount Panorama is that when it's not being used as a race track it's a public road. They don't mind if people cruise round it for the thrill, but tis frowned upon to race round it, as you notice when you first see the huge signs telling people to SLOW DOWN, and then there's all the 60k speed limit signs. I dunno how many people take notice but I've heard there's a permanent speed camera set up there somewhere, and it wouldn't surprise me if there were cops up there regularly. As we were there chatting and taking pics two young guys on their racey sports bikes went cruising past, they were stuck behind a car. So the back guy was taking the opportunity to film his mate in front with his mobile phone ... I hope he didn't try that on the esses!

And more chatting bout bikes.
I wanted to try out getting pics of bikes moving and where better to get those shots than round the esses, I had noticed a good place to stop near the end of them. Terry offered to take the pics for me, and after a quick lesson on how to do the continuous shots with my camera he headed off. I thought I'd given him plenty of time, and I guess I'd run outta bike talk for the moment, so we jumped on our bikes. I told the other guys to go in front as I knew I'd be slow as a wet week and I didn't wanna ruin their fun. As I went past Terry I was in third gear and just cruising, and he was too. Leaning against the wall next too him, no camera to be seen. We hadn't given him enough time, oh well I'll get those shots next time.

Those S bends were exciting even though I was only doing bout 35k's .. and Hell's Corner .. wow!!! We went round twice and then at the entrance to pit lane I found the guys waiting for me ... still no sign of Terry. I wondered if he'd got lost but Owie pointed out it was a circuit, he couldn't get lost going in circles. He was right and Terry turned up not long after. So we headed up pit lane for some photo's and to chat more bout bikes. And Owie made me do a U-turn .. omg in front of everyone! I was worried, I did it but it was one of the widest U-Turns I've done yet. You know, when I worry about U-Turns I furber them up, when I just do them cause I have no choice, I dont have a problem ... psychological block happening here I think.

Right so more pics ..

... of bikes on pit lane

... and blokes talking bout bikes on pit lane

...and bikes and people talking bout bikes on pit lane.

And the famous sign.

And that was the day at the mount. The guys had a long ride home especially Owie who was gonna get home in the dark. Was a long day for us all, but it was great meeting people who have passions the same as you. Fun day out!!! So we headed our separate ways.

Terry and I stopped a couple times on the way home for petrol and drinks and once just to stretch at Wellington. We came across an accident blocking the highway just out of Bathurst and got turned around to take a detour. I had to do another bloody U-Turn, in the middle of a highway with traffic around me all doing the same thing. Was kinda scary and I knew if I dropped my baby there it was gonna cause all sorts of problems. I did it though, went a bit wide, I was more worried about being hit by the impatient or unobservant doing the same as me than I was bout getting my U-Turn perfect.

We had a great day and to top it all off we saw the most perfect sunset just as we were getting towards home. It was a long day though and all I wanted was to be home and warm so I'm sorry no pics for you.

Yep and I Love My Bike!!


  1. Riding around Mt Panorama is top fun on a bike, I just wish there was no speed limit there. Even so its still a bit of fun just gotta watch out for the fuzz.

    Nice pic on the tank of that bike.

  2. Yeah it was a thrill for me, I'm still not real keen on downhill twisties, and I hated not being able to get my lines right, I felt like I coulda had more fun if I could. I'm keen to go back in a few years when I have more experience and see how I go, as it was I honestly was in second gear going round hell's corner .. scared me the first lap :D

    That airbrushing is a damn nice job, I even asked him if it was a decal O.O .. we found a signature, some people are so talented :)